Is Happiness the Answer?
This past summer while on vacation in Canada, my family and I were walking across a bridge and we saw an individual on the wrong side of the rail acting like he was going to jump. As we walked by, a woman said to us that she had already called the police and that they were on their way. We took a few more steps and then my wife looked at me and said, “You are a pastor, don’t you think you ought to go talk to him?”.
Now I’ll be honest with you, I wasn’t really, excited about going and talking to someone who was getting ready to jump off a bridge into a river. I did turn around though and started making my way back. When I got within 10 feet of him, here came all the police cars. They drove up to the bridge and jumped out of their cars and moved toward the man. I didn’t have the opportunity to talk with him. I did however stop next to the women who had called the police and we struck up a conversation. She mentioned that he must have had a lot of troubles in his life to get to this point. I saw this as an opportunity and I asked her what she believed happen when you die. She told me that she thought that, as long as you tried to do good and live right and be happy that you would eventually make it to heaven. I told her that I didn’t believe that way and that I believe you had to put your faith and trust in Christ and trust him as Savior and receive forgiveness for your sins in order to make it to heaven. We had a good conversation and as I left I asked her if there was anything I could pray for her about. She asked if I would please pray that she would be happy. After her telling me that the way to heaven was to do good and be happy, the thing she wanted most was to be happy.
This really showed me two things. First, people are searching. They want meaning, they want happiness, and they want fulfillment. The second thing it taught me is that, in general, people are searching for these things in the wrong areas of life. There is within each one of us a desire for meaning and fulfillment, but that hole in our life can only be filled by Christ. As believers we need to do a better job of reaching out to those around us with the good news of Christ. People are searching and they really want to believe that life has a purpose. We have the truth that can make a life changing difference, but we must be willing to share it. The fields truly are “white unto harvest”.